November 24, 2002
Beyond IdeologySenator Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, is leading the charge in the Senate against the new Defense Department program designed to gather all essential personal information on all Americans in a centralized database under the directorship of convicted Iran Contra criminal John Poindexter. (See Chicago Tribune.)
Attempts to establish a Soviet style police state are inherently opposed to the principles of true conservatives. The Bush machine has used the mantle of "compassionate conservatism" as a sales pitch for an agenda that violates the spirit of true conservatism. Fortunately, Senator Grassley is standing for principle rather than falling into lockstep with the party bosses.
According to the Tribune, Grassley sent a letter to the Pentagon's inspector general requesting a full review of the Total Information Awareness program. Grassley is a senior member of the Judiciary Committee and incoming chairman of the Finance Committee.
Public outcry against the Justice Department's proposed Operation TIPS, another KGB-style program that urged citizens to spy on each other and report "suspicious behavior" was so great that an amendment was put in the Homeland Security Bill to prohibit the implementation of the program.